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Holiday Dad Gift Guide 2016

When one gets to the point that they have all the stuff they need, holiday gifts become harder to find. But the holidays are for getting the stuff you want, right?

Dad already has that kind of wrench…well…hey, this one auto-adjusts. Add it to the collection.

Why does anyone need another sander? “Because this one’s different, honey.”

As always, Dadand put together a list of stuff—some of it showed up on our doorstep, some of it we sought and bought—but we use all of it everyday, and believe in.

Let’s go.

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Give Dad some quiet time. Where he can go assemble over 2,700 pieces of awesome and then make motor noises with his mouth. This Lego Technic set is no toy. First, the packaging is amazing. So amazing that he’ll almost not want to take it out and build it. But once he does, he’ll find crazy details like a working gearbox and steering wheel with gearshift paddles. There’s an adjustable spoiler, opening doors and decklid and a detailed engine. This nearly 2-foot-long limited-edition model even has a unique serial number on the glovebox.

While the “real” one would cost you about $176K, this one is discontinued but can still be gotten for about $1000.

Check out our unboxing video of the Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Russell Premium Fleece Hoodie

Russell Premium Fleece Hoodie

Russell Men’s Premium Fleece Hoodie

From Dad-bod to Dadlete, Russell has new premium fleece hoodies that’ll take the edge off the cold weather without looking like a logo-emblazoned fool warming up on the b-ball courts. I picked up one with a zipper, but they have them in a pullover, too. The tag says something about “Thermic-Power” which either gives you more muscles…or maybe just keeps you warm. And there’s an “interior media cord solution”—that’s marketing jargon for making a hole in the inside of the pocket for your headphones. The only thing it doesn’t have is a label to scratch up your neck. Who doesn’t need a nice, no-nonsense hoodie?

About $17 at Walmart.

Kobalt 20-pc. Hi-Vis Screwdriver Set

Kobalt 20-pc. Hi-Vis Screwdriver Set

Kobalt Hi-Vis 20-Piece Variety Pack Screwdriver Set

Screwdrivers are probably one of the most-used tools in the box. That means they’re also probably one of the most lost tools in the box. Go ahead. Take a look at your screwdriver drawer. You don’t even have to. You know what it looks like. There’s more diversity in there than a Benetton ad. This brand here, that brand there. Missing that little stubby Phillips, too. Here’s a you-can’t-go-wrong-buy for Dad—start fresh with a full matchy-matchy set.

The Kobalt Hi-Vis 20-piece screwdriver set has a mixture of Phillips, slotted, and torx drivers. The handles feel great and hold up to damage from acetone, gas and brake cleaner. The larger drivers are equipped with a wrench bolster for preventing four-letter words when trying to tame stubborn fasteners. Oh, and the high-visibilty green color so you can find them easily—best of all, they come in a EVA foam tray that fits right inside your toolbox—which helps the most in indentifying missing tools before they are gone forever.

WHOMP… no longer available. BUT there are plenty of other brands available on Amazon

Kobalt 24v Brushless Combo Kit

Kobalt 24v Brushless Combo Kit

Kobalt 24-Volt Max Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Brushless Motor Cordless Combo Kit with Soft Case

We’ve mentioned the Kobalt 24v brushless stuff before, but the line has expanded to include tools like a circular saw, angle grinder and impact guns. This is a great start to the 24v line with a ½-in drill/driver, a ¼-in impact driver and a battery and charger. The drill/driver has a clutch with 23 torque settings, belt clip and a removable side handle while they both have built-in LEDs to light up your workpiece—all with a 5-year warranty. I think this is what puts Kobalt over the top—the 24v batteries have charge indicators, a 3-year warranty and the price…a 4-amp-hour for $50…that’s like half the cost of the competition. They also offer 1.5-amp-hour battery for $10. $10.

New Lower price of $199 (down from $229)

Kobalt Rapid-Adjust Wrench Set

Kobalt Rapid-Adjust Wrench Set

MagLite Mini LED Flashlight

MagLite Mini LED Flashlight

Maglite Mini LED 2-Cell AA Flashlight

I’ve had my share of flashlights. We camp. Climb under dashboards. And…well…it gets dark outside each night. I have a couple of pre-LED-technology MagLites and thought it was time to get a couple more so I wouldn’t have to worry about the bulbs burning out. These new MagLite mini LED flashlights have an electronic switch that cycles through four modes: high-power for 97 Lumens of blinding light, low-power for the 4 a.m. walk-to-the-bathroom-at-the-campground, a “blink” mode and an SOS mode. This light will last a looong time with a weather-resistant seal, anodized aluminum housing and long-life LED. Plus, it’s made right here in ‘Merica.

About $18.

Porter-Cable Restorer Sander

Restorer Sander

Restorer Drum Sander

How many sanders does Dad need?

Jitterbug, orbital, detail, belt, disc, drum and whatever-this-thing-is.

Seven. He needs seven.

I picked up a Restorer sander as I needed something that would take many layers of paint and/or rust off of metal. I had my eye on another, similar product that is marketed to the auto restoration segment, but this one looked to do the same thing at less than half the cost. And consumables were readily available, locally, again for under half the cost compared to the other, similar tool. So it basically is a type of handheld drum sander, fitted with gear-driven changeable drums/sleeves of sandpaper in varying grits, abrasive pads and a rust/paint removal wheel. It does what I needed it to do, without heating up and distorting the metal of my 60+-year-old truck doors. And although I haven’t tried it on anything but metal, it says it’ll work on concrete, wood and fiberglass. Sound itchy, unless you use the built in dust collection port.

Prices and consumables vary.

Maintain your suburban homestead with the AK system, including a hedge trimmer, blower, string trimmer and chainsaw.

Stihl AK System

Stihl AK System

Dadand made the switch to battery-powered outdoor equipment. We just got tired of fuel-powered stuff that wouldn’t start, having to drain gas and cleaning carburetors. Stihl, famous for professional fuel-powered equipment that does start, stepped into the battery arena with its Lightning Battery Systems line of outdoor power equipment. We love the removable batteries in the AK line—which consists of a string trimmer, blower, hedge trimmer and…of course…a chainsaw. Pricing for this stuff is in line with what you’d find at a big box store, but you’ll only find them at a local Stihl dealer.

See more about Stihl in our recent post.

Light-A-Fire Mess Kit

Light-A-Fire Mess Kit

Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit 2.0

You can drop by the military surplus store and spend $15 on a dinged up, well-worn mess kit, or you can impress the glampers with this 8-piece “designer” mess kit from Light My Fire. The lid acts as a plate, and there’s a bowl, two smaller boxes with lids, a collapsible cup, a strainer that doubles as a cutting board and a spork.

Yes, a spork.

But it should be called a sporfe.

‘Cause the fork part has a serrated knife edge.


It all packs up inside the bowl-plate/lid-thing and has a band to secure it tight. It’s so cool, even my kid’s scout troop couldn’t find a way to rag on him for having it.

Around $35.

Archer Self-Inflating Pillow

Archer Self-Inflating Pillow

Archer Outdoor Gear Self-Inflating Camping Air Pillow

You get to the campsite with the guys and start unloading the truck.

Beef jerky. Bug spray. Sporfe™. Fishing lures. Machete. Big fluffy pillow with lemonbutter-yellow pillowcase.

There’s nothing more awkward on a camping trip than confirming that mommy sent her wittle man out hunty-wunting wif his comfy-womfy piwwow fwom home.

You just assume use a rock you find on the ground before you go through that again.

Get him this pack-away pillow. It self-inflates automatically with a twist of the valve, and is complemented by some high-density foam filling. Like it firm? Just put half a breath into the valve and BAM, instant adjustment. And when you wake up after a night of drinking…err…fishing, you’ll feel refreshed enough to pack it back up into its grapefruit-sized carry bag.

About $15

Solo Briefcase/Messenger Bag

Solo Briefcase/Messenger Bag

Solo Bradford 15.6″ Briefcase Messenger 

To be completely honest, we get a lot of bags sent our way. Backpacks. Messenger bags. Laptop bags. I’m totally looking at like six of them, surrounding my desk as I write this. Some are ugly. In fact, I think most are ugly. Strappy-fake-belt-buckle-things on them. Or they have useless pockets. Or uncomfortable shoulder straps.

Those get donated.

The rest await rotation. ‘Cause we beat the crap out of these things. Dragging laptops and tablets everyday.

House to car to work to lunch to work to car to beers-on-the-way-home to home.

And I have like 300 sharpies in mine. Plus, loose change (most-likely pennies, but I never really look), 2-3 useless 2GB flash drives, keys from something, eyeglass case, miscellaneous trash, papers, leatherman tool, a small writing pad, a bone folder, lockpick set, ear buds and a thing of halls cough drops.

Yes, I really just looked in my bag.

So…Yes. Heavy. And they get beat up.

Anyway. This Solo briefcase/messenger (brief-enger?) bag made the cut. It’s a hybrid. Go from a briefcase to a messenger bag. Kinda like a mullet. From business to party…all-in-one. There’s a padded area for your laptop, an internal tablet pocket and a key loop. And it looks pretty good.

About $60.

Well, there’s the list and I checked it twice.

Again, we’re only suggesting stuff we actually use. And for full disclosure, some of the stuff here we got as samples to try out, but we don’t get paid to promote it or anything. Most of the stuff on the list was purchased with our hard-earned cash, just like the good ol’ days.

Hey, let us know what you got for whatever you celebrate.

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